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Manager's To Do

Manager’s To Do For Jewelers: January 2016

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Week 1 / JAN. 3-8

Planning Bring your staff together for a post-holidays strategy session. Go over what worked, what didn’t, what your competitors did, what 2015 taught you. Then spin the session forward: Where do you want to be by the end of 2016? The secret to such sessions is to get specific with your targets: Do you want to expand your bridal clientele? Attract more female self-purchasers? Appeal to more Gen Y shoppers? Once you set such goals, you can determine merchandising and advertising strategies.

Finances File all co-op claims for holiday advertising. Put this off and you’ll risk forgetting it.

Customer Maintenance Call up your best customers to see how their holiday gift-giving went. As for the first-timers in December, follow up with a nice-to-meet you offer. This could be a gift certificate tied to Valentine’s Day.

Marketing/Operations January typically sees the coldest days of the year. Have a plan in place should the weather get so severe that it interrupts business. Could you, for example, offer a 2 percent discount for every inch of snow that falls if customers are willing to brave the conditions to come in? Or could you boost your online offerings?

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Week 2 / JAN. 10-15

Inventory Don’t wait another day. Restock your important bread-and-butter pieces immediately. It will be Valentine’s Day before you know it.

Operations Create a yearlong calendar for your website listing store events, new designers and promotions. (If you can’t keep your website up to date, get someone else who can.) A calendar will also get you thinking about events. If you want to try a trunk show or two, you’ll need to start booking designers soon.

Finances Use any extra cash from the holidays to pay down vendors so that you’re in a better position this year to take advantage of trade terms. Be sure too to return any leftover memo goods. Your vendors may need them for the year’s first trade shows.

Staffing Evaluate staff: It’s easy to see your best and weakest performers immediately following your busiest month of the year; this is the time to make those changes.

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Week 3 / JAN. 17-22

Display Select a prominent case as your Designer of the Month case. Make it a scheduled event (note it in your website calendar) and kick off the first day of each month with coffee or champagne for customers. Let designers know they will be featured and see if they can supply extra pieces for your collection.

Marketing Plan Valentine’s Day decor/dress themes. (How can you look romantic this holiday? Red velvet dresses for all staff? )

Advertising Work on your advertising plans for 2016. Start by breaking down your monthly spending based on monthly store sales of the last three or four years. (For example, if February accounts for 7 percent of your total sales for the year, allocate approximately 7 percent of your ad budget toward that month.) For a jeweler in a normal location, a working budget based on 5 to 8 percent of gross sales is typical.


Week 4 / JAN. 24-29

Data Go through the wish lists you collected in the months leading up to the holiday season. They can give you very useful insights into what specific customers might be looking to add to their jewelry wardrobes in 2016 or as gifts for other occasions. Add the notes to your POS database.

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Training When was the last time you trained sales staff on the benefits of polishing jewelry in front of customers; before and after they present a piece of jewelry for a shopper’s personal inspection? Now’s the time.

Finances Need some “social proof” to nudge you toward better money behaviors. Join up for a personal-finance site like Mint.com, which, for example, will let you know you’re paying 167 percent more for auto insurance than people like you typically do. Or, it might point out that if you ate out less — say, in line with the average in your area — you could save as much as $1,000 in six months.

This article originally appeared in the January 2016 edition of INSTORE.

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Manager's To Do

Add These Dates to Your To-Do List to Ensure a Productive May

Mother’s Day, the Vegas shows, summer and more guarantee it will be a busy month.

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May 5-11

SALES Everything should be in place for Mother’s Day (May 12). Remind salespeople that it’s a fantastic opportunity for add-on sales in the form of matching jewelry. What have you bundled for dad and daughter to buy together for Mom?

PLANNING If you’ve typically taken your annual vacation in July, why not shake things up a bit and opt for vacation in August this year? Who knows what your community’s jewelry needs are like in July if you’ve never really been present.

STRATEGY Vegas bound? (JCK begins May 31.) Hunker down with your POS system. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve at the show. What are your goals? To attract female self-purchasers, expand your bridal clientele with new bridal product, increase margin with in-house branded collections? (And keep an eye out for our June trends guide toward the end of the month at instoremag.com — it could be a huge help.)

May 12-18

MANAGEMENT Start meeting with staff at least monthly to share three “good things” to build on and three “development areas.”

MARKETING Your best customers are your current customers. Identify your 200 top customers. Draft a plan to market to them in the second half of 2019.

SECURITY Hotels in Vegas make it clear they are not responsible for loss or theft of items brought into their property. If you travel with goods, look into getting insurance.

May 19-25

OPERATIONS Hurricane season is ahead in many parts of the country. Run through a checklist to ensure that your bad weather protocol is up to speed.

BUYING This year, be organized and professional in front of your vendors in Vegas — prepare all your reports and forms. Re-confirm your appointments, and get cell phone numbers so you can contact them if you need to.

May 26-June 1

BUYING In Vegas, make a point to visit the Design Atelier at Couture and The Design Center at the JCK Show. The talented designers in these sections create jewelry unlike anything you may have seen, which will engage your most consistent clients while also opening up new markets.

SHOP Slow season project: Take photos of all waxes not already in your CAD library and add them.

MERCHANDISING With summer on the way, Larry Johnson says redo the props in your showcases to give a fresh look. Throw away those seashells in the pearl case and replace them with props that show your customer all the places in town where she can wear those beautiful pearls.

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May Day, Sea Monkey Day and More Important May Dates

One is a day to remind yourself that ultimately, you’re selling emotional benefits.

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1 Elsewhere, the proletariat may be standing shoulder-to-shoulder on May Day, singing “L’Internationale” to show solidarity with their daily toil, but in the good ol’ U.S. of A, that’s not considered politically correct. In place of class struggle, tell your staff you want to hear what can be done to make your store a better place to work. Ask your employees to come up with three small things each that would make their working days more pleasant. Implemented right, small things can go a long way to making employees feel empowered, involved and happy to be at work.

4 AUDREY HEPBURN, who was born on this date 90 years ago, did more for little black dresses and diamond earrings than anyone else in history. Mark the occasion with an invitation-only morning event with your favorite customers.

14 The BIRTHDATE OF THE BUDDHA is a perfect time to focus on what works and let go of the rest. Invite input, keep an open mind, and act to de-clutter.

16 It helps to be smart in your marketing, but bold is so much better. Remember that today as the world celebrates SEA MONKEY DAY — a briny nod to the power of selling emotional benefits.

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Siblings Day, National Volunteer Week and More Important April Dates

Seize on this date to own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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10 Sure, sometimes they wouldn’t surrender the TV remote, and you had to wear red because they got the blue top, and they never seemed to do their fair share of the dishes … But they are also the only other people on the planet who understand what weirdos your parents are. On National Siblings Day, remind your customers of all this. Siblings are like the best friends we never asked for but are really glad we have. They deserve a nice surprise gift — in red.

7 On National Volunteer Week, pick up litter on roadsides or in your local creek, serve food to homeless, repaint the children’s shelter; do something to give back to your community.

14 On Be Kind to Lawyers Day, send a cheery note of thanks to yours for their hard work keeping your business safe from legal jeopardy.

30 Those honored on National Honesty Day are given “Abes” to mark their commitment to truthfulness. Sponsor an event at a local school. Own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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